May 7, 2018


The electronic jamming signals affecting AC-130 gunships over Syria may have crews checking and cross-checking their data, including target information, before they lock on with their cannons, according to a top commander here.

“Whether that’s being man-made, or maybe it’s a mistake inside the airplane, it’s hard to say sometimes, but the process is, as you see those things pop up, the safety for the people on the ground is the primary concern,” said Col. Tom Palenske, commander of the 1st Special Operations Wing…


“We’re not going to kill ourselves out of this war. And the way you do that is you make sure you’re as precise as possible, only targeting the guys we’ve validated as bad guys,” Palenske said, referring to operations in the Middle East where the gunships have flown countless missions, often with danger-close strikes.

“When you’re going to put lethal fires down in either enemy position or to protect friendlies, you’re concerned about the innocents around both our guys in uniform and civilians,” he said. “And when there’s some glitch being put out there by trons that threatens the accuracy of that, then the [AC-130 crews] have got to make sure they do no harm.”…Palenske did not say what kind of electronic warfare equipment adversaries are using, nor who the adversaries are, even though Islamic State fighters, Iranian-backed militia and Russian troops are in country.

The enemy electronic jammers are trying to jink the AC-130s into killing civilians (generating atrocity headlines) or fire on U.S. and allied forces. Syria’s civil war has echoes of the Spanish Civil War. The belligerents are testing new weapons and experimenting with new tactics and techniques.

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